Embracing Hospice in Support of a Loved One
Before losing the fight with Alzheimer’s disease last November, Barry Reid lived 77 very full years, the last half of them right here in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Besides having a rewarding career that took him around the world, being a devoted husband, father of two and grandfather of four, Barry was an avid runner. Over the years, Barry participated in all kinds of distance runs. He crossed the Ridgewood Run finish line over 25 times, and even ran 3 half-marathons in the seventh decade of his exceptionally active life.
His wife of 52 years, Sue made sure that his last days were as comfortable as she could possibly arrange. Working with lifelong friends, Sue carefully prepared a room at an assisted living facility with new furniture, artwork and decor so that when Barry was ready to transition, it felt a lot like home.
Valley Hospice’s interdisciplinary team of professionals, including Ellen Lockhart, Cynthia Brady and Laura Parisi, then stepped to provide Barry’s hospice care. They visited him regularly, preparing and administering medications and tending to his needs, speaking quietly and listening attentively.
“He really took to them.” Sue recalls, “and as things progressed, hospice just took over so all I had to do was concentrate on Barry.”
One day, Sue walked in and this accomplished runner was not able to stand or walk without the assistance of his long time running partner, Aidan Walsh, and an aide on either side, and she knew that his time was near.
“At that moment, I was so very grateful for the miracle of hospice.” Sue reflects, as tears well up in her eyes. “The wheelchair appeared, as did the hospital bed, and the Hoyer lift. The hospice team was there by our side, they just knew what we needed and when and then just did it. They were marvelous!”
Barry passed away on November 10, 2015. Sue always tells her friends “When the time comes, embrace hospice. Because I don’t know how I would have done it without them.”
For more information about hospice or our Home Care program, please call 201-291-6131 and a
Valley Hospice representative will be happy to assist you.
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